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Lotte Kopecky sprints to fourth place in GP du Morbihan Féminin – Liv Racing

After winning La Classique Morbihan (Sofia Bertizzolo) last Friday, Liv Racing was at the start of the 102 kilometre Grand Prix du Morbihan Féminin on Saturday. Lotte Kopecky sprinted with a depleted peloton for the win. Our Belgian road champion didn’t come further than fourth place. Italian rider Chiara Consonni took the victory in Grand-Champ.

The race in Brittany (France) started early. Before nine o’clock the riders were already on their bikes, in 5 degrees Celsius and fog. A local, hilly circuit of 14.6 kilometres awaited the riders. This had to be done seven times in total.

“We had agreed to start the race calmly but sharply. The first laps we would not do anything ourselves, but we would anticipate if necessary. Unfortunately we missed out when a group of six riders from strong teams escaped. That forced us to chase,” says team manager Hugo Brenders.

After five laps, the leading group, which had a maximum lead of 1 minute and 45 seconds, was caught up by Liv Racing. In the remaining two laps, attacks rained down. “We wanted to keep Lotte Kopecky as fresh as possible for the sprint. But that was quite difficult. In the final sprint, our best was gone after all our efforts. A second successive victory was unfortunately not possible.”

Photo credits: Cor Vos

— rik to livracing.com

Sofia Bertizzolo takes victory in La Classique Morbihan after strong team tactics – Liv Racing

Sofia Bertizzolo did herself and Liv Racing a big favour. She won La Classique Morbihan (115 kilometres) on Friday in Brittany, France. At one kilometre before the finish, on a sloping part, she placed a razor-sharp attack. No one had an answer. The peloton finished 9 seconds later. Lotte Kopecky came in seventh.

Bertizzolo won her first professional UCI victory in France. “That’s great of course, even though La Classique Morbihan is maybe not the biggest race. The feeling of winning was something I had been looking for for a long time. This season I have shown several times that I am strong. But unfortunately there were not many chances to win, partly because I am not a pure sprinter or climber. It’s nice that today all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. It is the confirmation I have been looking for for a long time.”

Bertizzolo praised Liv Racing’s tactical plan. Pauliena Rooijakkers was in a breakaway with 85 kilometres to go before the local circuit. At 25 kilometres from the finish the Dutch rider attacked again. This time she stayed ahead with eight other riders.

“The idea was that Lotte Kopecky and I would stay calm and focused in the peloton. When Pauliena was caught again, I attacked at 1 kilometre from the line exactly according to our plan. Full gas, I did not hesitate. We knew we could surprise the competition with that, because Lotte was of course still in the peloton. Nobody likes to close the gap, knowing that there is a very strong sprinter in your wheel. The tactic worked out well. And luckily my legs were strong enough to execute the plan. I’m very happy with this.”

Saturday, with the Grand Prix du Morbihan Féminin (102 kilometres), there is another race in the same region. The profile of that race is similar to that of La Classique Morbihan. “It would be great if we could have another celebration as a team.”

— rik to livracing.com

Rooijakkers goes for ‘final offensive’ in two Breton races – Liv Racing

 

Liv Racing is preparing for two French one-day races. On Friday the team with Ayesha McGowan, Pauliena Rooijakkers, Lotte Kopecky and Sofia Bertizzolo will compete in La Classique Morbihan. On Saturday there is the Grand Prix du Morbihan Féminin.

La Classique Morbihan (115 kilometres) starts in Josselin. The hilly course will bring the riders to the local final circuit which will be ridden five times. The riders will have to face the same climb of 1.8 kilometres six times. After the last passage, the course goes slightly downhill for one kilometre before the finish in Grand-Champ.

One day later there is the Grand Prix du Morbihan Féminin (102 kilometres). In this race the riders will compete on a local circuit in and around Grand-Champ. This hilly lap is almost 15 kilometres long. The riders will ride it a total of seven times.

Pauliena Rooijakkers goes to France with confidence. Last weekend she became Dutch MTB Marathon champion. “I have competed in these French races a few years ago. Back then the course was slightly different than now. It remains hilly anyway. We will try to make the course hard, on the many climbs that should be possible. That way we will try to create a good situation for ourselves. Who knows, maybe we can put Lotte in a position to go for success.”

“The Dutch MTB Marathon championships, last weekend, did me good. I feel strong and I definitely want to make something beautiful out of it. These will be my last races for Liv Racing. Let this be a nice final offensive after many fine years.”

Photo credits: Cor Vos

— rik to livracing.com

Rachele Barbieri and Katia Ragusa – Liv Racing

Liv Racing has signed two new Italian riders for the next two seasons. Rachele Barbieri will return to road racing after being completely focused on track. Katia Ragusa wants to take the next step in her career with Liv Racing.

Rachele Barbieri won the bronze medal in the Omnium event at the European track cycling championships in Switzerland last week. She was also part of the Italian team that took silver in the team pursuit.

“A few years ago I put my road ambitions aside. Instead, I concentrated fully on my first Olympic Games. I feel it is now time to return to the road, at WorldTour level. I am very happy that Liv Racing believes in me. In the next two seasons I definitely want to repay that trust. Liv Racing is a perfect team for me. The riders always work as a unit with a strong tactical plan and the organisation is professional. I want to be part of that. Not unimportant: I already know Giorgia Bronzini, the new sports director, pretty well. I am convinced that my return to the road can be successful in this environment,” Barbieri said.

Katia Ragusa, the number two of the Italian road championship in 2020, is ambitious. Having already achieved some good results over the past few years, she now wants to make a name for herself for good. “I see opportunities at Liv Racing to grow and become a stronger, more complete rider. At first I will mainly play a role in supporting teammates. Eventually I hope to go for my own chances. In theory, especially the classics should suit me. There is good support and the team is developing strongly. I want to be part of that growth process. It will surely be a wonderful adventure.”

Photo credits: Cor Vos

— rik to livracing.com

Bertizzolo goes on the attack – Liv Racing

The sixth and final stage (155,3 kilometres) of the AJ Bell Women’s Tour ended in a bunch sprint again on Saturday. After two sixth places on Friday and Thursday, Sofia Bertizzolo did not take part in the sprint this time. She chose to attack earlier in the stage, which was unfortunately eliminated in the finale.

The attack of the day arose at about ninety kilometres from the finish. At first only Eugenia Bujak, Veronica Ewers, Dani Christmas and Ane Santesteban were in it. Sofia Bertizzolo bridged the gap to the four riders and could then hope for success, knowing that she is fast in the sprint. However, the escapees were caught up in the last twenty kilometres. Elisa Balsamo won the stage. The leader’s jersey of Demi Vollering was never in danger.

For Liv Racing, the Women’s Tour was a tumultuous race. After the first stage the team had only three riders left due to a heavy crash with Alison Jackson and Jeanne Korevaar among others. One day later Evy Kuijpers abandoned due to illness. As a result, the team rode the final part of the race with only two riders: Soraya Paladin and Sofia Bertizzolo.

“Because of the early crash of Jeanne and Alison and because of Evy’s illness, we were soon behind in this Women’s Tour. The only thing you can do is attack. And our Italian riders have done that very well. Soraya showed herself yesterday, Sofia today. Cycling is a team sport, but the circumstances forced us to approach it as an individual sport,” says sports director Brenders.

Photo credits: Cor Vos

— rik to livracing.com

Women’s Tour continues without Korevaar and Jackson – Liv Racing

Liv Racing will start Tuesday’s second stage (Walsall – Walsall, 102.2 kilometres) of the Women’s Tour with three riders left. Jeanne Korevaar and Alison Jackson crashed in the final three kilometres of the first stage on Monday.

Shortly after the last five riders, including Soraya Paladin, were caught, there was a crash in the peloton one and a half kilometres from the finish. Jeanne Korevaar suffered a broken collarbone. Alison Jackson suffered injuries that seriously disrupted her sleep. Both are now focusing on full recovery.

Photo credits: Cor Vos

— rik to livracing.com